Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is just the thing to use up those rapidly ripening bananas in the fruit bowl. I used 3 very ripe bananas for this cake which gave it a great flavour. The recipe calls for buttermilk which results in a more soft and airy texture; but like all banana cakes, it is still quite dense and moist. The cream cheese frosting recipe I followed turned out too sweet for my liking so I added more lemon juice, more cream cheese and a decent amount of whipping cream. The resulting frosting was a little runnier than it would have been because of the cream but it firmed up after an hour in the fridge (I couldn’t wait that long to cut the first slice!). I really enjoyed this banana cake and the housemates helped polish it off within 48 hours- that says it all.

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Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm  Comments (6)  
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Middle-Eastern Steak Sandwiches with Moorish Potato Salad

I made these for dinner a couple of weeks ago. I had a couple of cos lettuces from mum’s garden and a bunch of cucumbers from my trip to the market to use. It makes me feel like a domesticated housewife when I decide meals based on ‘what we’ve got to use up’, but it makes sense really and I’m sure that’s how it works in commercial kitchens too. Anyway, I settled on a middle eastern style turkish bread sandwich with thinly sliced minute steaks, natural yoghurt and caramelised onions.

The potato salad was a recipe I spotted in a magazine by Chef Matt Stone who operates the Greenhouse restaurant in the inner-city, which is a very hip, eco-friendly and decidedly alternative restaurant which has been receiving lots of buzz lately. The recipe looked good and it kind of paired with the steak sandwich idea, so I decided to do both. It’s sort of got a burger and fries vibe I guess.

The sandwiches were goooood! I ended up using sour cream instead of yoghurt but I think either would work well. The onions really made it. The potato salad was also delicious, but I have to admit the last thing I wanted after working through that sandwich was more carbs. The potato salad was good for lunch the next day though with leftover sour cream.

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Smashed Pav


It was Australia Day (aka ‘Invasion Day’) last Thursday and I felt inclined to make something Aussie to celebrate. I settled on pavlova due to a surplus of eggs from my mum’s chooks. This was actually my first time making pavlova so I was wary; but it turned out better than I expected, albeit a tad smashed looking. The crust was very crispy and melt-in-your-mouth whilst the inside remained soft and marshmallowy. It came out of the oven looking quite spectacular but as it cooled the crust broke into shards. Once it was topped with cream and fruit it didn’t seem to matter though. I also added banana and passionfruit just before serving. I’m glad I have this iconic dessert in my repertoire now because it was really yummy and a good way to use up eggs.

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Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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Chicken Pesto Penne

Pesto is a great option for flavouring pasta when you feel like something light, flavoursome and healthy. The main ingredient is basil so it’s good for using up excess basil leaves from the garden during summer. The best thing about it is that everything except the pasta is raw – so you get the full nutritional value of all those green leaves, chopped nuts and garlic. A generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese provides the salty flavour that really makes this dish work. I also like to add a bit of chicken for protein but it isn’t really needed. The recipe I’ve taken to using is very basic and rather traditional. The final flavour will ultimately depend on the quality of the ingredients you  use and the type of basil.

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Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas Cookies

I made these reindeer cookies recently for a Christmas dinner that I helped to host. They were a pretty big hit with the party-folk and disappeared in no time. They’re just a simple (but delicious) sugar cookie with royal icing for the outline and red nose. I made these last year and used red smarties instead for the nose which worked just as well, but I couldn’t be bothered buying and sifting through them. The cookie cutter is actually a moose which came in a set from Ikea, but I reckon it looks enough like a reindeer.

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Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 12:09 am  Comments (2)  
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